Photos generously supplied by the young David Evans
A resounding six – nil win for Hereford against Walsall Wood on Tuesday evening (29th September 2015), that shocked seasoned Wood fans – but it was a great game played on home turf, in which Walsall Wood were sadly outclassed.
Bill Shaw submitted the following match report:
Where do I start? In all the time I have been involved down the Wood this was the best performance I have had the privilege to watch at Oak Park. It was just a pity it had to come from the opposition, but in John Mills (reputedly on £500 per week plus goal bonuses) Hereford have a real hot property, whether they can hold on to him is another matter entirely, as there is no doubt in my mind that with his amazing balance and close control he wouldn’t be out of place in the football league. The crowd of nearly 400 certainly got value for money, unlike the previous Tuesday, but for Wood it doesn’t get any easier with them visiting another of the early pace setters Heanor Town next, I could think of easier places to go to after last night.
You have to take the lows with the highs in football however and last night has now gone, so it Semper Sursum, onwards and upwards, because whatever happens, the next game is the most important, no matter what has gone before.
Keep taking the tablets says the quack, let’s hope things improve, sooner rather than later. Are we downhearted, you bet your life we are, but the fightback starts now, so keep the faith, we are still a good footballing side, regardless of the last 2 home results.
Don’t despair, ‘cos Swanny’s there, it ain’t gone dark we’ve still got Mark. For The Good Of The Wood.
Walsall Wood 0 v 6 Hereford
I have been involved at the Wood for 12 of the last 16 seasons and in that time have seen some poor performances from them, but this wasn’t one of them. They were comprehensively beaten by a team who turned in the best display I’ve ever seen at this level, superb, scintillating, brilliant, I could just keep coming out with the superlatives, after last Tuesday it was an exhilarating breath of fresh air.
The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges but it took them until the eighth minute to have a shot on target, a flowing left to right move across the face of the Wood box ending with Pablo Haysham sidestepping a defender and hitting a rising drive that was well saved by keeper Lee Evans. On 16 minutes a long ball forward flew over the top of the Wood defence, Evans racing from his area to head clear, the ball only found Aaron Birch 35 yards out who hit a first time lob high and wide.
Wood were working hard to get a foothold in the game but it was the visitors exerting most of the pressure. A stunning one touch move down the centre from halfway gave them the 35th minute breakthrough. Wood were left chasing shadows as the ball found its way to Adam Page in the centre of the D, his ball into the box collected at pace by hot shot John Mills who calmly slotted the ball past the advancing Evans.
On 42 minutes Wood cleverly worked an opening, Drew Aiton on the end of a left wing move, his first time rising drive into the top corner clawed away at full stretch by Harvey Rivers to keep the leaders ahead.
Right on the break Joel Edwards charged down the left, crossed to the far post, the fast back pedalling Evans couldn’t hold the high ball, Page volleying home to make it 2-0.
On 51 minutes Mills was released into the left of the box, his close control was mesmerising as he waltzed through three challenges only to fire wide. A minute later he beat Evans and Luke Wright to a high bouncing ball but screwed his snap shot narrowly wide. The game was over as a contest when on 58 minutes substitute Maximillian Kontic-Coveney won the ball on halfway, raced clear wide right before going on a diagonal run, his crossfield ball picked out Haysham on the left of the box, he calmly rode a desperate challenge before playing the ball back inside to buddy Mills who twisted and turned in the centre of the box before firing a low drive into the bottom left hand corner. It got worse four minutes later, another incisive one touch move on the edge of the box ending with Birch laying the ball back to Dylan Bonella to hit a first time effort just inside the left hand post. Five minutes later the Wood defenders managed to get in a challenge on Mills on the left edge of the D, but a foul was given. Ryan Greens low drive going through the Wood wall but Evans saved comfortably. The mercurial Mills almost completed his hat-trick and took his seasons tally to 19 in 12 games when on 75 minutes he raced onto a ball into the right of the box, again he twisted and turned, cleverly played the ball left to partner in crime Haysham, took the quick-fire return but his goalbound effort was deflected wide by a lunging Josh O’Garro. He was only denied until the 81st minutes however as Birch powered through the centre, laid the ball off right to Mills who from 20 yards buried the ball in the net. Evans really knew it wasn’t his night when on 87 minutes from a left wing corner the ball was played back to the hard working Birch 20 yards out, Evans got finger tips to his thunderous low drive, the ball bouncing off the post, hitting the keeper on the back before rolling serenely over the line for goal number six.
Hereford haven’t fielded a settled side this season, but looked to have found a perfect balance. The question is however, how long can they hold on to hotshot John Mills who at the moment is attracting the attention of Level One Forest Green who currently sit top of the Conference Premier. Wood certainly would have no regrets if he went, as last night he was one of the major differences between the sides.
Bad luck lads – keep pushing. My commiserations, and I hope this tough streak ends soon.
Thanks to Bill for the report, as ever.It’s a joy and an honour to publish them here.
For The Good of the Wood!